Nearly a foot of new snow Friday morning put Squaw Valley at exactly 700 inches for the 2018-19 season.
Friday (May 17) is a powder day in May! Squaw Valley received 11 inches in the last 24 hours on its upper mountain, bringing the two-day total to 18 inches and a cumulative total for the season to 700 inches, the third snowiest season on record. The previous high totals were 810 inches and 728 inches, respectively.
And more snow is in the forecast. A winter weather advisory is currently in effect for Saturday evening through Sunday morning, and Squaw could pick up another 10-18 inches of snow. Squaw Valley received 7 inches by Thursday morning.
On Friday (May 17), Squaw Valley has nine lifts running and Summit Express is open at Alpine Meadows. Guests can check the Squaw Alpine app for real-time lift status and operations updates.
Alpine Meadows received 16 inches the past two days and now has 585 inches for the season. The resort, located off Highway 89 near Squaw Valley, will close Sunday, May 19.
Squaw Valley remains open through July 7. It is operating a seven day a week schedule until Memorial Day, at which time it will switch to Friday-Sunday operations until the Fourth of July weekend. The resort plans to be open for skiing and riding from July 3-7, weather and conditions permitting.
Snow in May? It can definitely happen in Tahoe. According to Associated Press, over the past century, snow has fallen in the month of May around half the time in Tahoe.
After a break in the weather Friday into Saturday morning, another storm will arrive Saturday night into Sunday morning with more valley rain and mountain snow showers along with gusty winds. Looking further out, additional storms are possible next week with below normal temperatures continuing.
A lake wind advisory is in place until late Thursday night. Southwest winds 15 to 25 mph with gusts to 35 mph. Lesser winds of 10 to 20 mph are possible in the morning.
National Weather Service Forecast
- Friday, May 17 – Scattered snow showers before 11 am. Partly sunny, with a high near 46. South wind around 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible. Partly cloudy in the evening, with a low around 28. Southwest wind 5 to 10 mph.
- Saturday, May 18 – Scattered showers after 11am. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 50. South wind 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%. Rain showers likely before 11pm, then rain and snow showers. Low around 30. Chance of precipitation is 80%. Little or no snow accumulation expected.
- Sunday, May 19 – Rain and snow showers. High near 43. Chance of precipitation 80%. Little or no snow accumulation expected. Chance of rain and snow showers before 11pm, then a slight chance of snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 24.
- Monday, May 20 – A slight chance of snow showers before 11 am, then a chance of rain and snow showers. Mostly sunny, with a high near 48. Chance of rain and snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 27.
It should come as no surprise that Tahoe ski resorts saw a 17-percent increase in snow visits for the 2019-19 ski season.
California and Nevada ski resorts had 7.3 million visits this season, according to preliminary figures released by the National Ski Areas Association and the California Ski Industry Association. That equates to a 17-percent from last year, and 11-percent above the 10-year average. The number of visits were up year-over-year every month from October through March.
The results are preliminary because three Tahoe ski resorts – Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows, Heavenly – remain open. The figures are estimated based on likely turnout for the remainder of the season.
Heavenly has extended the ski season through May 27. It is currently open Friday through Sundays from 9 am to 4 pm via the Gondola.
Nationwide, this year’s totals were the fourth-biggest season on record, with 59.1 million visitors to ski resorts.
More snow means California and Nevada resorts were able to open on time and stay open later. On average, resorts in the region stayed open for 145 days, the most since 2010-2011 and 16 days longer than last year’s average.